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Temple University's Use of Wimba featured in Tech & Learning Magazine

Going for Distance: Technology convergence powers growth of online education

Read the original article in Tech & Learning magazine by viewing the attached file or read this excerpt from Going for Distance: Technology convergence powers growth of online education:

Only about 5% of the university’s 230 distance-learning classes are delivered from special videoconferencing rooms, according to Dominique Kliger, Temple’s vice provost of distance learning; the rest are provided directly from PCs.

At Temple, online class enrollment has doubled in recent years and currently tops 3,500 students a year, a number that is split evenly between graduate and undergraduate students.  Kliger says, “We discovered that the learning style and convenience of online learning were important.”

Online classes increase students’ confidence, offer feedback that is more personal, and alleviate students’ scheduling conflicts, Kluger says.  In fact, she ntoes, the university replaced some campus-based summer-school classes with online classes after discovering that the former were undersubscribed and the latter were maxed out.

Adding to the popularity of online instruction are features that make it more interactive, such as Wimba, Cisco’s WebEx, and Adobe Acrobat ConnectPro collaborative platforms.  Kliger says: Wimba, for example, enables classes to offer live virtual meetings and adds enhancements, such as voice messaging, which is far more personal than the written word.  According to Kliger, all it takes is a Wimba hyperlink for an off-campus lecturer to address a class or a student to join a group-tutoring session from a remote location.